Tag Archives: 31daystoclean

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #27-31


31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 27 – Becoming Friends with Goodwill

Mary Challenge: Get a box ready for Goodwill. No wait, get boxes ready for Goodwill.

We, as family, are HUGE fans of get rid of unnecessary things. BUT we have chosen to donate some of our extras in a different way. See:

Martha Challenge: Utility Room – Wash inside of windows and clean window treatments. Wash walls and dust ceilings.

LOVED THIS! My laundry room has one tiny windows and now window treatments so this went fast. The walls and ceiling were recently painted to I skipped the dusting part.

Day 28 – Who Are You Trying to Please

Mary Challenge: Are there areas in your life where you are experiencing a burden of guilt? Ask your husband what he thinks about what you are feeling guilty about.

Relief! LOVED this story and to read the tons of insight in this book get your copy at http://31daystoclean.com/.

Martha Challenge: Utility Room – Scrub sink and clean drains – use Drano or some other drain cleaner.

Once again, YAY for no sink in the UR!!! Check!

Day 29 – To Hire Help or Not to Hire Help

Mary Challenge: Spend some time in prayer thanking God for all that you do have. The areas in your life that you feel like you’re drowning in, ask God to show you where you can find some help.

Martha Challenge: Utility Room – Clean out and organize closet.

Weirdo Alert! LOVED this breezy last week of cleaning and of course the organizing!

Utility Closet Before:

Drug everything out to sort…What I found…


Day 30 – Contentment in the Season of Your Life

Mary Challenge: Write down 10 things you are thankful for today.

1. My Lord who saved me from what I deserve and who desires a daily relationship with silly, mixed up me

2. My God-fearing Husband who is leading my family toward Jesus and loves me in ways I didn’t know I needed

3. Magdalen Reese- my “3-in-June” preschooler whose brain won’t slow down long enough for her to spit those newly learned big girl words out

4. Isabella Ruth- my ~1.5 year old who is the goofiest kid I’ve ever met, never siesting to make me laugh and smile

5. Benjamin Ryan- my 4.5 month old who is a physically strong baby with personality to keep up with his boisterous older sisters

6. My family in blood and law, for raising me, shapping me, and guiding me to be who God is calling me to be

7. Long distance forever friends- always picking up Right where we left off!

8. My church family, Central Baptist Pine Bluff, AR (esp- Journey Sunday School Class): friends chasing after Jesus together-

who knew it could be so much fun!?!

9. My home- HUGE (3000 square foot) BLESSING! Using it to host to the fullest of our ability

10. My Health- not just in a cheesy generic sense but for reals! I have the capability to physically and mentally enjoy the above blessings!

Martha Challenge: Utility Room – Trow away any expired cleaning products or bottles you have lying around. Sweep and mop floors.

Did this while cleaning out and organizing

Day 31 – Balancing it All

Mary Challenge: Kiss your husband, giggle with your kiddos, and soak in the Word of your God.

Martha Challenge: Rest. You’ve done a great job!

I WIN!!! I finished in MAY! Maybe not the way I thought I would but technically done! Thank you Sarah Mae for this amazing challenge!


31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #22-26 Martha Challenges


31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 22 – Developing a Workable Schedule

Day 23 – Dealing with Distractions

Day 24 – Organization

Day 25 -The High-Low Cycle

Day 26 – Laundry

In case you were wondering why I am posting so many days together it is because we don’t technically have a home office and this series of days was devoted to that space so I’ve decided to use these days to work on my “craft” closet. Sounds simple enough, right?

These are the listed challenges:

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Wash inside of windows. Wash window treatments. Wash walls and dust ceilings.

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Steam-clean carpet or area rugs, wash hard -wood floors.

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Clean out your desk. Clean out and update files. Organize office supplies and drawers.

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Clean off and organize shelves. Shine and protect wood furniture.

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Carefully wash computer and printer (and any electronics) with a damp cloth. Use cotton swabs to clean out the crevices in keyboards. Clean screens with soft cloth.

but this closet has no windows, the floor had already been mopped when the bathroom was done, has no desk (the desk we have is in our bedroom and was cleaned during that challenge), the files were cleaned out and updated when we “closed out” Dec 2010 and started Jan 2011. So for the Martha challenges I skipped straight to the office supplies, drawers, shelves, computer, and general organization.

Ok, I started this project on a Thursday while my preschooler was as “Nanna Day” and the toddler and babe were taking their naps~ 10am

The Befores…I know- GROSS!

Yes…that is a floor under that pile of stuff I like to chunk in the closet behind the door.

                                                                                      Pile on floor                              Shelves

My discombobulated 1st attempt at simi-organizing this closet.

*anyone in need of a wedding gown or formals, I’ll take the best offers! FOR SERIOUS!

My piles out in the playroom…trying to sort

Overwhelming Scrapbooking materials. Pretty sure more than 2/3 of this will be in my Aug. Yard Sale. Come on over!


                                                               On Going Scrapbook Projects  Bow-making Supplies Gift Wrapping Center


                                                                                                   Shelves             Scrapbooking tower   Random Pics to be sorted

I am hoping to finish these 2 scrapbooks by the end of summer, become disciplined at making more quality bows and paci clips to market, sale most of the sb tower, and find homes for all of the random pics so the hanging basket is obsolete.

warning: If you have ever made a single memory with me that happened to be photographed, you may have pictures coming your way, hehehe

                                                                                                Books             Craft Supplies    Scrapbook Tower on top of the filing cabinet

Close Ups

                                                                                 Writing Utensils    Paper         2 shelves of Craft Supplies

Who wants to come over and make something???

I can handle it…I think. Blow it up with “your crazy” or “this is ok, but…here’s a better system” comments. I’m ready and open. BRING IT!!!

31 Days to Clean: Day #22-26 Mary Challenges


31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 22 – Developing a Workable Schedule

Mary Challenge: Write out a realistic routine for your family- something basic-and put it in a place where everyone can see it.

Ok, I have tracked our day in attempt to figure out where the gaps are that need more structure. We are good about simple parts of our routine like breakfast, lunch, dinner, 3 different nap schedule, and simple daily/nightly chores (dishes, laundry, pick up around the house) but there are definitely more gaps during the day where we could be getting a lot more accomplished! I’d like to set 1 day a week for grocery shopping and errands as well as more structure play with the kids which in turn will hopefully help us get naps in and keep the “mamma, come play with me” to a minimume…maybe ;o) Post a schedule soon but I’m also working on excel budget to make our lives run smoother so, in time.

Day 23 – Dealing with Distractions

Mary Challenge:What distracts you on most days? What can you do to lessen the distraction?

I think feeling the need to be “doing” something all day distracts me. The word tells me that as a stay-at-home mom I don’t have a real job and therefore I spend my days doing things that maybe will justify me to the word. Now, isn’t that stupid. Even typing just now, I can’t believe my brain even goes there but it does, most days. I run in circles attempting to clean things, organize, do yard work, run errands, shower, look nice, dress my chill’ns, basically- accomplish something just like the rest of the world.

WRONG! I know the truth is that I, as a christian who is now living her life for Jesus, is not supposed to seek the world’s approval. Way easier said than done most days. Just ask my husband…or maybe don’t… I can talk a big game in the car while we are having a discussion on a subject I’m passionate about or maybe one I don’t struggle with but when I’m faced with people “liking” me, I cave like a powdered sugar castle. I hate that about myself.

There it is in all of its awkward confession glory. BUT here is what I am continuing to strive for. I do want to accomplish somethings the world also considers worthy of my time but I am Also going to pour more quality time into the eternal souls God has blessed me with. Most days I don’t feel like I am their best option but apparently God did. So, how am I going to strive to meet HIS standards? I’ll attempt to improve my relationship with my hubby and kiddos everyday. Some days I will fail but if I don’t try at all then I’m destined to fail.

Day 24 – Organization

Mary Challenge: Pick one hot-spot in your house and do something to bring about order. It doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe you should figure out how to keep track of bills and school forms. Maybe you should just put a pretty bowl by the door to keep track of your car keys.

If we’ve spent any time at all together (virtually or in person) you Know I love organization! Even what I like to call ghetto organization aka organization on a tight budget. For me, this challenge wasn’t simple. I feel like the bulk of my house is orderly so this sent me to my evil “Monica Closet” which sent chills down my back. The dreaded closet. See more about this huge task in 31DtC: 22-26 Martha Challenges .

Day 25 –The High-Low Cycle

Mary Challenge: Pay attention to the times of the month when you have more energy and are motivated to clean. Get a calendar and spend three months writing how you feel each day; after that time see if you notice a pattern. Perhaps you can better prepare for your days if you know what’s coming.

Well, 3 months hasn’t passed but I am working on “charting my nesting”, as I’m calling it.

Day 26 – Laundry

Mary Challenge: Find a laundry system that works for you and your family. Perhaps you will take on one of the above tips, or come up with your own.

So far, the best laundry system I’ve found for my family is to include it in my chores Every Night! We make our girls clean up ALL their toys before they go to nap and bed. Everything has a general place it goes and even Izzie (~16 months old) knows where things go and can follow “on” shelf or “in” basket commands. Do what works for you family but in ours: Matt does bath with the girls and while he is doing that I start at least 1 load of laundry. I always do at least 1 large load a night. I keep the machine set on COLD, use a color catcher (which I should take out stock in), and I through Everything in that fits. The rest of my nightly routine includes, but is not limited to, collecting all the dishes that hadn’t made it into the dishwasher yet and start it. Then I try to sweep and/or vacuum downstairs/living areas (every other day if I didn’t get to during the day).

I’d LOVE your feedback! Leave a comment and let’s see if we can get a dialog going about some of this. We and combined forces and take over the world, muhahaha…Ummm, I mean…at least conquer this “managing our families/homes” task we’ve been blessed with.

Another Dream


Think I’m about to yard sale my ‘dream’… Scrapbooking- just not practical n this season of life.

Can’t deside…sort by -letters, paper, decor. -by theme -yard sale and trash pile. The task of cleaning my “home office” (craft closets sub for me) for the 31 days to clean challenge has become a spiritual struggle for me today. Torn.

I love the idea of having personally made scrapbooks and even enjoyed making the few I have BUT the desire to use the materials that taunt me from within my craft closet are just stressing me and bringing out my selfish pity party. It’s sooo not fair that I have not time for myself. It’s not fair that I don’t have an organized space to keep my projects sprawled all over. It’s so not fair that…you get the picture.

I am currently working on reorganizing my time. Managing each set of 24 hours I’m given should help me feel as though I’m begin more productive…right? I can’t decide if I’m throwing in the towel on something that as possible or if this is something God is calling me to purge from my life at this time. BTW I have the same 24 hours all these other, overly productive, moms, and wifes have and been abundantly blessed with tons of random supplies (minus the books), a huge walk-in closet that I am currently using to house all my craft supplies, and my house is 3000 square feet.

Just a few stories in scriptures I’m sifting through today:

Abraham’s Promise: Genesis 21:1-7, Genesis 22:1-19, Hebrews 6:15

Joseph’s Preporation: Genesis 41:41-57

Rich Man’s Store House: Luke 12:13-21

Got any godly advise or stories to share out there?

A Journey of God’s Goodness


Today’s post is a guest post from my amazing Hubs, Matt Rothacher!

A journey of God’s goodness

When guests come to our house I often find myself telling various length versions of how we came to reside in 5 Concord Drive, and my wife asked me to share one of those versions here (she was vague on the length so if this gets really long, she brought this upon herself)…

About a year ago my lovely wife and I began to feel that God was moving us into a new place of ministry and, as with any move, perhaps the most important facet is where you will live. My bride loves looking at different houses and so anytime a new church would contact us it would free her up to scour the internet looking for our next home. Now, I’m not as big of a house enthusiast as my wife, but I did get excited to search for our next abode, so I helped in the internet hunt. As I did, I stumbled across an enormous house in the area of town we were looking for a price well below the norm. The house was listed on multiple sites, but the majority of those only had a single picture of the outside. With much effort, I found the one site with pictures of the inside. The aesthetic condition of the inside appeared to be a big part of why it was priced where it was, and I set my heart on it.

To understand the whole picture of this gift I have to let you in on what God was doing in me apart from just relocate. For weeks, prior to beginning the interview process, my emotions had been going haywire. I would find myself tearing up when watching the Biggest Loser, which isn’t totally abnormal but I was crying when they’d step on the scale before any emotional twist came. It was always the same- I felt the need for the emotional release and tears would start to come out and then it was if someone just shut it off and the fullness would remain. Then God clued me in on what was going on.

I was sitting in the initial interview meeting with the staff of our new church, and noticed both of them using iPhones which of course set off my “I want one of those” rants, and they assured me that all staff received an iPhone. I couldn’t tell you anything else about that meeting after that but I came home telling my wife all about the iPhone and little else about the church. This caused me to stop and ask God why I was so excited about a silly phone. What I found is something I’m not proud of; I had lost my faith in God’s goodness towards me and my life. Now I could with great confidence and belief tell you that God desired to give you the desires of your heart, I just had become jaded to the fact that He cared about my desires. Or rather that my desires just never matched His for my life.

This poor thinking was a direct result of the birth of my first child, Maggie. I, like most men, really wanted a boy (for the record I would not trade my Maggie for a thousand boys) and the entire pregnancy I wanted this baby to be a boy. I knew though, from the very beginning, that she was not a boy. We didn’t find out the sex until her birth but I knew. I knew because I wanted a boy and therefore God would not give one to me. It was a horrible image of God, I knew this, but it was my image of Him. Apparently it was set in place almost two years before I realized it bothered God even more than it bothered me. So back to the iPhone and my question, “why this phone was so exciting?” God’s answer to my question was one that spoke healing into my heart. “I am going to prove my goodness to you through this move. I want to give you the desires of your heart even the ones as small and seemingly insignificant as an iPhone.”

I mentioned that the house was already listed well below average, so much so that you looked at the price, and then at the square footage and concluded: problem. Something’s gotta be wrong with it. We were sure that there was probably something wrong with the foundation and clearly the interior needed some immediate attention, but I loved it and began asking God to give it to me at a price our family could afford. We made an offer $25,000.00 below the asking price, contingent on there not being  foundation damage, and they took it! Our home inspection found nothing wrong with the foundation at all, which came as shock to everyone but my wife and I. The price of the house versus the size of the house was so  unbelievable to the bank financing our loan that they sent their own inspector and made a structural engineer come out to look at it; it passed again! Every step of the move God showered His goodness upon me with the house being the second biggest blessing of it. God capped off our move with a completely unexpected blessing. His name is Benjamin and he is the son of my right hand. My God gives the best gifts; he truly cares about the desires of His children’s heart!

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” –Jesus (Matthew 7:11)

*To learn more about My handsome hubby or to read Matt’s blog click here.

Here Turtle Turtle Turtle!


I have had a ROUGH morning! Can’t even really put my finger on why. One of those days where you wake up later than you wanted to, moved to slow to get ready before the hubs has to leave for work, ya eat a wholesome poptart and DP breakfast, the toddler and preschooler are finding all the “bad choices” they can to get lots of your negative attention, the preschooler has decided today is not the day she is going to become fully potty trained but instead is going to full-out poop and pee herself, lunch consisted of ham and cheese sandwiches, and all ya wanna do is scream then hide in the quiet pantry and eat oreos…melodramtic, I think not.

God decided to change my afternoon!

As both my girls headed upstairs for nap and the babe was still snoozing, I looked out my front window to watch a women shoving something out of her car into my side yard. She proceeded to poke at it and stare at my yard… I RAN to grab my shoes, threw them on as fast as I could, all with a huge smile on my face. As I hurriedly unlocked the front door I watched the car drive away. As quickly as possible, without bringing awkward attention to myself from my across-the-street neighbor and alerting him to my craziness , I wide-strided it across the yard in the vicinity of where I saw the yard-pocking women drop off something. I’m sure if that neighbor had seen me he would have thought I was a crazy eyed little kid looking to get into trouble.

I FOUND IT! That’s right, it was a TURTLE!!!

Isn’t he CUTE?!?! (Could she have sat it any closer to the curb?)

I snapped this shot, watched him for a moment (hunkered down like a preschooler investigating something on a field trip), and then, as if there were any other options, picked him up and carried him quickly over to my house all the while trying to figure out where I was going to keep him. hmmm… This will work until the girls get up from nap and I introduce them to our new friend:

 Sooo excited!!! Eeeee!

This may sound just plain silly to all you sane people out there but here’s a little background and what I feel God is trying to tell me on this HORRIBLE day.

When I was a child, one of the things my mom Always let us do was “save” turtles from off the road! We could be driving along, in a hurry to somewhere, I’m sure, and we would see a turtle in the middle of the road. It never failed, whether it was her idea or my brothers and mine, we would “save” the turtle by just moving it to the side of the road or on some occasions, TOOK IT HOME! I usually don’t advise taking them home. Most of ours, if kept in a box, did not like lettuce, ripped up grass, and dirt we threw in there to create a lovely habitat for them.

Every time (and I DO mean Every time) I see a turtle in the road, to this day, I want to “save” it. I once “saved” a turtle during the 1st year of my marriage. One the way home, on my 45 minute commute, I found a turtle and naturally brought it home. When I arrived home, bearing my treasure and grinning ear to ear, my hubby just raised his eyebrows in confusion as he stared back and forth at me and my new friend. “Why?” he asked. I was taken back…”why“…why would I need a reason? That’s just what you do. He proceed to explain to me that it was not a good idea to “save” turtles. Reasoning: danger factor- for me to be in the middle of the road just like it is for the turtle, sickness factor- wild creature, weirdness factor- it just is, and the turtle factor- this is not his home, wilderness is, they don’t really eat lettuce and carrots, and so on. Ok ok, I hear ya. So I submitted to his God-given and obviously well placed authority. No more turtles coming home. I placed that one in our giant, treeless backyard, hoping it would live there and like it! I checked on him the next day and some how he’d escaped my fenced in paradice…boo!

This morning was different though! For some unknown reason, a random stranger in a white station wagon (also hold a place in my heart), cruised down my cul-de-sac and chose my yard of all the other well-wooded yards to place this little guy in. YAY! Our Father is good! There are so many little nuggets I could pull from this but today I’m going to walk away with: my Heavenly Father knows me! He knows my past, present, future. He KNOWS me! He knows me today. He knows I had a rough morning. He knows a silly turtle in my yard would make me smile! Tears are coming just thinking about how loving He is toward me. He’s not disappointed in me. He’s not upset because I lost my cool with my babes this morning. He isn’t giving up on me because I wasn’t seeking His detailed will from my life today. He knew I needed some encouragement today and He knows me so well that He places a turtle in my yard to jog a silly memory from childhood, renew my joy, and give me inspiration to interact more meaningfully with my girls this afternoon!

What kind of turtle stories do you have? I’d love to hear them. PLEASE share.

*side note: I intend on putting the turtle in our backyard while the girls Ooo and Awe over him, give him a name, have a lesson about adorable little turtles, and then set him free!


Pics of my girls spotting and chasing the turtle

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #17 and 18


31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 17 – Your Cleaning Style

Mary Challenge: Take the D.I.S.C personality test (http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/aw8npyx/DISC-Personality-Style) and allow yourself to get to know you better. Descriptions of the different D.I.S.C types: http://www.discinsights.com/cyber/scripts/disc.asp

I’m not so sure this test tagged me correctly overall or just the kind of mood I was in while taking it. hehe Either way, the descriptions were helpful so I can work on my cleaning style depending on what I’m struggling with at the time.

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Clean and organize shelves. Shine wood furniture.

We don’t have much furniture in our room so this was quick! (Pictures of our rooms were posted in another cleaning day)

Day 18 – Making Your Personality Work for You

Mary Challenge: Try one of the ideas listed with your personality type.

There were several different areas in all the different “personalities”...humm, does this mean I have multiple personalities???

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Clean out and organize closets. Purge baby, purge! (And give to Goodwill)


Master Closet

This still isn’t as organized as I’d like it but I wish I had before pics to show the PURGE! It was Packed with nonsense.

We could still use a little more purging before our yard sale but we’ve got a while.

The far right side is now empty except for hangers that used to have shirts on them. The back rod is mine, and the far right is Matt’s. The bin under my side are maternity clothes and sentimental shirts I’ve yet to let go of even though I will never fit in them again. Oh, and the crazy pillow is my amazing J-shaped pillow my hubs got me for pregnancy. WONDERFUL!

Girl’s Closet

This is just sorted by size (24 months-4T, right to left) because they share a lot of clothes. The clothes in the bins on the shelf are hand-me-downs or sale items we found for the next season or size. The clothes on the far left bar of the closet are long sleeve items or jackets for next season. The shoes on the self below are shoes they aren’t wearing yet. The couple of pairs they wear stay downstairs in a basket in the entry way. Oh, why do I always have some randomness I feel the need to explain…the fan is waiting to be installed in the girl’s room. This house had NO lights in the ceilings…Wierd!

Nursery Closet

Jamin’s clothes are sorted by size (current and next size so we transition easier) as well as dressy or casual, long or short sleeve. We store everyone’s diapers in here, the humidifier, and the clothes on the shelf are the hand-me-down items or sale items we bought of the next size/season (crazy, I know).

Guest Room Closet

I don’t really want to confess this but here it is…

WARNING: This is not a before picture

scary stuff, right!?!

Excuse: this is my hold area for my consigning, yard selling, ebaying stuff, then donating. I hope to soon post pictures of this neatly organized closet with all items hung on hangers to consign at the Duck Duck Goose Sale, sorted for my yard sale during the White Hall Trade Days, and my huge donation pile. Ebay stuff is in the Wally World bags, have already been posted and sold!

More confessions…this isn’t all of it…there is another HUGE pile in my basement and another in my garage of  house hold items we purged. Although I am a huge fan of donating we also feel we were given this stuff to steward to the best of our ability. At this time, we feel like we can sell some of this stuff, rather than just donate everything, and the cash can be significantly multiplied to use to further the gospel overseas.

Ooops, sorry. That needs to be another post. When you’re passionate about something, it tends to eek out in every avenue. Let me know if you’re interested in and would like to hear more about that adventure God has been and is continuing in our family’s life!

Have any passions you need permission to let eek out? Share it here!!! I wanna hear!

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #15 and 16


31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 15 – I’d Rather Do Anything But Clean (Motivation)

Mary Challenge: Write up a lesson plan for your children about the eternal value that taking care of your domain has. Find scripture, inspirational quotes, books, anything, that will reinforce the “why” behind getting ourselves in gear to clean. There is just something about teaching our children that will dig truth deeper into our own hearts.

Martha Challenge: Bedroom – Wash mirrors, walls, and insides of windows. Wash window treatments.

Yay, we don’t have mirrors in Any of the bedrooms!!!

Confession: didn’t do it (wash walls/windows)…yet. Upstairs time is scares at my house with 3 under 3. I haven’t figured out a way to work upstairs while they are not sleeping in their rooms. I did wash window treatments and finally hung the ones in the girls room (rather than the sheets blocking the light). I hate washing/dusting blinds though…any helpful hints?

oh, and I’m 5’2″…ceilings…prolly never happening. Maybe the cobwebs in the corners with a broom ;o)

Day 16 – Willing Hands

Mary Challenge: What’s your block? What’s holding you back from allowing your ideals to guide you in the day-to-day? What can you do about it?

IRONY: I just wrote a post about my ideal. I still believe letting go of it and letting God reshape it is best right now and totally agree that I can accomplish {close to} my ideals with God’s help and with “willing” hands!

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Steam clean carpets or area rugs, wash hard-wood floors.

I think I’ve given up on steam-cleaning any of my carpets this month…in the near future. Not because of inability. Just not the priority right now. Renting one, moving all my furniture, waiting for it to dry, and doing all this in 24 hours would be asking too much of our budget (this month), too much of my hubby to either watch the babes while I did it all or did major moving things for me, it would be a huge inconvenience for my family to be displaced while I attempted this mega goal in their space, and on top of all that, they would have to deal with the mad women that came with that. I vacummed…does that count?

Have you found a trend? I seem to be picking and chosing what works for me, my family, our lives. How are you adjusting this challenge but also allowing yourself to be stretched?

My Day


I walk downstairs into my immaculately clean home that is tastefully decorated, already showered, fully dressed in adorable mom clothes, hair look’n great, with a full (modest) face of make-up, ready to take on the day. I grab a cute coffee mug of coffee and cozy up in this cute comfy nook in the corner of my kitchen with my adorable Bible, Bible study notebook and a cutesy pin. I delve into God’s word for a refreshing, inspiring, meaningful time with just me and God as my handsome hubby and gorgeous children remain asleep in their well-decorated, clean, organized rooms upstairs. As I wrap up my motivating time with my Lord, I move straight to cooking a beautiful breakfast for my family. As I begin to bring my well-balanced meal to the table in serving dishes still hot, they (my 4 children who are evenly spaced two years apart and cheerful hubby) all enter the dinning room with smiles on their faces, fully clothed, and ecstatic to see me and the rest of the loving family. After we enjoy our meal together, as the morning sun glimmers in through the clean windows, I go around clearing the table as everyone goes immediately to grab their things, neatly prepared the night before by the door in cute cubbies, and head out to work and school with kisses and hugs from me, their God-fearing, put-together, beautiful, amazing in all ways, Proverbs 31 wife and mommy.

UGGG! You KNOW where I’m going with this…

This has been my ideal day. As a new believer in junior high I would fantasize about having this life. It was inconceivable idea that there would ever be a day where a shower wasn’t possible. If the lady in the commercial can clean up that giant mess her baby just made with just one  paper towel  in an adorable comfy looking skirt and button down then I could pull that look off easy; ya know, ’cause my child’s not gonna even make messes. I don’t even like coffee (no offense Sarah Mae) but everything looks more grown up in a cute coffee cup rather than my simple can of cold Dr Pepper. If I love Jesus and I’m working hard enough I should be able to pull of being a “Beth Moore” every day of my life. If I’m not serving my family a wholesome meal out of serving dishes then I don’t care about them enough. I don’t know what I thought I’d do before my gorgeous children could actually dress themselves or much less walk down the stairs by themselves. When was I going to prepare their things with night before? After feeding, bath, bed, chores, or finally getting to chat with my hubby before passing out?

Today, MY plan: accomplish my idea. This was actually yesterday’s plan but that was a big FAIL! When I finally made it up, 30 min after my alarm (on my phone- who would have ever thunk it?), I showered way too long, put on a t-shirt and long cotton shorts (which had become my mom uniform), and with wet hair and a little make-up on, I slugged my way downstairs to greet my simi-clean home (thanks to 31daystoclean), grab a poptart and a can of DP, add some items to the grocery list, sit down for a quick devotional thought(provided by someone else), began typing this to get it out of my system just in time to hear my 4-month-old crying to be fed, hoping my handsome hubby will grab him for me before his crying wakes the two girls, (almost) 3 years old and 16 months old. ______ Ok, fed my little man and am currently super jealous that the day I chose to wake up early rather than my husband everyone is sleeping well past 8:00am rather than 6:45 or 7. Rrrr Oh well. The rest of my day will probably be a fight between trying not to be frustrated because I am not accomplishing my selfish goals and that of being the loving idea wife and mom I desire to be already. I want my children to love the Lord and follow Him closer than me, which right now will not be a challenge. God is messing up my ideal. He knows what is best for me! He is refining that desire of my heart to look more like His for my life. Not all of it is bad/unrealistic. But I cannot do it. ALL things are done through Christ who gives me strength.

God is doing a work in our family’s life and I don’t want to be left in the dust! I am seeking to joyfully follow the leadership of my husband who I see is chasing God at a quick pace. It would be nice to have that ideal day but I’d like to focus on the seeking God for God right now. Learning to hear Him. Excited about new tools for this adventure that have fallen into my lap: 31 Days to Clean, Radical (aka The Evil Orange Book), and Brave, Honest Questions Women Ask. I have never considered myself someone scared to say yes to what He is calling me to but it’s been easy things so far. I think my world is about to totally change.

surrendering my ideal today

*8:30 and still no peep from the girls, the hubs, or my little man who went back to sleep after eating. I’ll take this as God’s gift for allowing Him to begin this work in my life.

*Disclaimer: That was not a slam on Beth Moore. Feel free to insert you ideal, amazing godly women who has inspired you and whom you have possibly put on a pedestal hoping to one day be like.

31 Days to Clean: Day #13


31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 13 – Fighting Fatigue

Mary Challenge: Pick something (or a few things) on the above suggestions list for fighting fatigue and put it into practice for one week and see what happens.

Move: I have been attempting to wear my tennis shoes all day to keep myself moving. It really seems to help although my feet hurt more and it’s a lot harder to move quickly around the house with sleeping babies all day long.

Only get the sleep you need: Started this…trying to get up every day at 6am, shower, do some kind of bible study with my breakfast before the babies wake, then dry hair while Matt does his normal breakfast routine with the kids. That way, by the time he leaves I am fully ready (tennis shoes and all) for accomplishing things.

Caffeine: I probably already utilize this tip too much. My OB said (while prego) I should only have 2 cans for Dr Pepper a day, 3 at the most. I have carried this rule over while breastfeeding. I would like to move to the lower end of this and intersperse WATER more often. I despise water; I drink it like medicine rarely and fast when I do!

So far (2-3 days) I have done ok at waking up (near) the desired time, moved a lot more, and have had a big FAIL in the less caffeine department. Speaking of giant FAIL…

Martha Challenge: Living Room – Steam-clean carpets or area rugs and wash wood floors.

All wood floors have been washed (from mop the kitchen day) but I have yet to rent/borrow a steam cleaner and do any of my carpets. Maybe next months budget and schedule will allow for this.